I’ve had so many thoughts swirling around in my head about this presidential race. I need to get them out! But first, I finished Sweetwater by Roxana Robinson, another author I heard on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC. I would find the link for the interview to post here if I wasn’t feeling so lazy. This novel was delicious. Need to track down her latest novel, Cost, at the library soon. So here we go.
- Politics. I’ve always been a cynic when it comes to politicians. I’m not impressed with any of them. All talk and no action. I’m not registered with a political party but I always vote Democrat on the “lesser of two evils” line of reasoning. But I have to say that Obama has impressed me more than any other politician. I’ve been following the election closely, reading and watching a lot of things from both sides and damn. I’m impressed and surprised by Obama. Never before has a politician spoken out so strongly on issues that I agree with. Let’s hope, if elected, Obama is more than just all talk and no action.
- I’m a person who understands the other side of an argument. It makes sense to me that some people are conservative. Sure I think they’re wrong and I don’t agree with them, but I can understand it. I like to think people are more than their political views, and that their political views reflect a diversity of influences – where a person grew up, their family, their cultural background, religious background, their educational experiences. A person’s political views are nuanced and complex. I saw this intense documentary on McCain’s life on PBS the other day. They showed videos of him as a POW, lying in a cot in Vietnam, all beat up and broken, tears streaming down his face, telling his wife that he loved her and he’d be home soon (didn’t they get divorced soon after he came home?) Clearly, the man has been to hell and back and learned something from it. Most of all, I am impressed with his efforts to reform immigration, something that went against the views of his own political party. Sure his plan had some flaws, but at least he was trying to do something about it that didn’t involve rounding up 12 million human beings like cattle and kicking them out of the country. But then he ran for president, changed his views on a lot of things, tried to woo christian conservatives and sucked up to Bush. THEN! picked Palin as his running mate. What a giant step backwards. I think everything that has to be said about Palin has already been said by others. It’s just, well, the thought of Palin as president, or even VP makes me seriously, very afraid. Another thing that makes me afraid is that Palin has done NOTHING to address the racist and xenophobic accusations people make about Obama at her rallies. McCain has. Palin hasn’t. By ignoring it, she is giving people reasons to be afraid of Obama because he’s black and has an Arab-sounding name. She’s stroking the fire and causing irrational fear and hatred.
- The Debate. As much I respect McCain for his experiences and some of his political record, the man tried to make himself look like a victim when no crime had been done against him. He was flustered and angry, he tried in vain to get people to pity him because some congressman Obama had nothing to do with made an association between McCain and a segregationist. McCain’s feelings were hurt and he whined about how he never received an outright apology from Obama. McCain was a POW. Surely, this is not actually the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. And I don’t think you can make the argument that this accusation against McCain is worse or as bad as McCain’s supporters calling Obama a terrorist, a traitor, and yelling “kill him” at his VP’S rally while Palin did nothing about it. Obama could have milked that argument so much more. Obama could have played victim so much better. But he didn’t. Again and again he rose above McCain’s exaggerated accusations and refused the bait to bicker back and forth.
- The debate was nothing more than an outline about the differences between the GOP and the Dems. The GOP doesn’t want higher taxes because they don’t want big government programs UNLESS they are government programs like social security and medicare that help those upstanding middle-class Americans that pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps and achieved the American dream by doing everything the right way. Dems believe in taxes because they believe the government should have programs that help people and government should regulate certain aspect of life to make sure everyone is getting a piece of the American Dream pie. And in order to have money to do this, there needs to be taxes on everyone. Ideally, less taxes on the poor, more taxes for rich. Do you want government programs to help you out even if that means paying into them? Dem. Do you not want any help from government programs, you want to keep the money you make even if that means others go without, and believe people get what they deserve? GOP. Yes, that’s a really simplistic way of looking at it, but that’s what I got from the debate last night.
OK that’s all I got. Back to books for next time.